Myanmar Sanctioning Body Blacklists Its World Champion

In a bizarre turn of events, it's been reported the Myanmar Traditional Lethwei Federation has "blacklisted" champion Dave Leduc and banned him from competition for two years. Leduc, the first foreigner to win the gold belt world title in lethwei, which is fought bareknuckle and allows headbutts, has recently attacked muay Thai fighter Buakaw on social media attempting to drum up a match with the Thai boxing star who competes several weight classes below him.

Leduc was also critical of muay Thai in his comments. The Lethwei Federation, which is based in Myanmar, has cited that as the reason for the ban. Relations between Myanmar and Thailand have traditionally been strained.

But there are questions as to whether Leduc's support for the democracy movement in Myanmar may have also influenced the decision with Myanmar's elected government being overthrown earlier this year by the military. Leduc, from Canada, has long been a magnet for controversy, recently taking an anti-mask stance during the pandemic. It's unclear just how much the blacklisting will hinder his career as Leduc has fought outside Myanmar on several occasions including the first lethwei bout held in the United States last November.

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
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Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

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